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Big Event for People with Special Needs

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(KCEN) -- It was a great day for 3,000 people with special needs.

The 27th annual "Really Big Event for Really Special People" was at the Extraco Events Center in Waco.

It's a carnival and fishing event for people with disabilities.

Travis Bailey has always been a part of it, but he says it's grown tremendously since that first event in 1988.

"We actually started in this building back in the corner over there," Bailey said. "We had a little tank and nothing else. No tables, no chairs, no food, no popcorn, no nothing."

Today, hundreds of volunteers have turned it into the ultimate party for people with special needs.

They have everything from face painting to carnival games and a dance floor.

The KOT fraternity and a few sororities from Baylor University help make it all possible.

"It's one of our favorite events, we love doing it," said Ryan Browder.

Fishing is still the main event, so they make sure everyone has a chance to catch something.

There are over 2,000 Rainbow Trout all brought in from Texas Parks & Wildlife.

The all-day event is completely free, so it takes many sponsors and volunteers, but they say the hard work is all worth it once they reach the big day.

"It's kind of like a payback to the community," Bailey said. "If you look at their faces today, you'll never ask...we do it. Because it's in their face."

It's in the faces of the volunteers too, which keeps them coming back every year.

Any fish that are leftover after the event are given back to Texas Parks & Wildlife and released into Buena Vista Park Lake.

The volunteers say planning for next year's event will already start in about two weeks.

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